The U.S. Department of Education (Department) awarded approximately $77.8 million in new grants to eight State Entities under the FY 2018 Charter Schools Program (CSP) State Entities Competition.
Authorized under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (20 U.S.C. 7221-7221j), the CSP State Entities Program is a competitive grant program that enables State entities to award subgrants to eligible applicants in their State to open and prepare for the operation of new charter schools and to replicate and expand high-quality charter schools.
In October 2018, the Arkansas Public School Resource Center (APSRC) was awarded a CSP Grant of $23 million, and an additional $19.525 million was awarded in supplemental funding in September 2019. The $42.525 million of funding was provided to carry out the following activities in Arkansas through its new grant program, the APSRC Charter Development Grant:
To increase the number of high-quality district-conversion and open-enrollment charter schools with an emphasis on those that serve educationally disadvantaged students
To improve student outcomes, particularly where educationally disadvantaged students are concerned
To disseminate best practices
Westwind School for Performing Arts
2021 CSP Open-Enrollment Subgrantee
Westwind School for Performing Arts is the first middle school in Central Arkansas focused on serving students interested in the performing arts. They were approved to open in September 2020 and opened their doors to students in grades 6 - 8 in the fall of 2021.
Hope Academy of Northwest Arkansas
2020 CSP Open-Enrollment Subgrantee
The mission of Hope Academy of Northwest Arkansas is to provide students with a safe, positive, trauma-centered academic environment that will nurture their love for learning and confidence in life. It is the first trauma-informed school to open and operate in the state of Arkansas. They were approved to open in September 2019 and began serving students in August 2020.
2019 CSP District-Conversion Subgrantee
Centerpoint Academy of Agriculture & Skilled Trades
Centerpoint School District recently announced a new charter school program called Centerpoint Academy of Agriculture and Skilled Trades. Funded by some major grants, this new initiative launches in August of this year.
CHARTER SCHOOLS PROGRAM SUBGRANTS
APSRC Charter Schools Program Subgrants are competitive grants for the purpose of funding startup and expansion activities, including planning and implementation and costs. Applicants must apply for all funding as a part of this grant.
Grant awards may last up to three (3) total years (or 36 months) inclusive of planning and implementation periods. The planning period for successful applicants will begin on the date that an application was approved by the CSP Selection Committee. The planning period ends June 30, of the fiscal year prior to the fiscal school year in which the school intends to open (i.e., for schools opening in 2019-20, the planning period ends June 30, 2019. For schools opening in 2020-21, the planning period ends on June 30, 2020). The implementation period begins July 1, of the school year in which the charter intends to open. Supplemental funds are available for schools that serve greater than sixty percent educationally disadvantaged students.